Somewhere Beneath My Curled Toes

My heart was beating,
My lips quivering from the chill,
My bones aching,
My breath coming in uneven gulps,
And a single tear rolled off
my lower eyelash
and onto,
the tightly packed,
autumn cooled,

It was done,
case closed,
Her body,
Cold and still
And gone
Lay somewhere
beneath my curled toes.
Her cheerful green eyes,
dull deep in their sockets.
Her rosy cheeks,
turned white.
And her smile,
a peaceful grimace.
All somewhere beneath my curled toes.

Laura Haskin is in the eighth grade at the Masterman School. She enjoys painting, drawing, writing, and reading (of course).


The evening train came speeding by
So again she lightly perched, a seldom rest from winded fly
The regrets and sighs that fain be sung
Sang freely in her lullaby

The secrets that I with you share
Are your burdens to shamely bare

Dark and tearful music laid
For haunting were my youngest days

So lean your head in, quickly, close!
And hear my screeching lullaby

With eyes half shut
Looking sadly on
Where the land of dreams might lay
Wishing she could go again

Marcela is in sixth grade and loves writing, basketball, volleyball and track.  She aspires to be on Broadway, in the Olympics or a poet and her special talents include hula-hooping, wiggling her ears and doing long jump.

The Skeleton Girl

She dances on her piano
with her skeleton toes
cobwebs covering her clothes,
she smiles.

Her bones quake.
She touches her wasted face,
slips on the yellowed lace
that covers her piano.

Her bloody lips grimace
as she pulls herself up.
She reaches for her martini cup
and swallows, then repeats.

The martini burns her throat,
makes her moan.
But no one hears her, she's all alone
Just a haunted, eroding pile of bone.

The skeleton girl,
all alone in the world

Juliette is a ninth grade student at Hallahan High School who enjoys writing and playing sports in her free time.

Notebooks of Poetry

And so she filled her notebooks with poetry
Trying to make sense of this world of lies
Burning her bridges—
Severing her ties
With anyone who double-crossed her

And so she filled her notebooks with poetry
Trying to get lost in a world of rhyme,
And looking for one with reason.
If she had the guts and if she had the time,
She'd open her eyes and find one.

And so she filled her notebooks with poetry
Because poetry was beer.
It made her toes tingle, her toes tingle,
Made her troubles disappear.

Juliette is a ninth grade student at Hallahan High School who enjoys writing and playing sports in her free time.

Duality of the Universal Solvent

Burning, freezing, melting, cold and hot and tepid,

                Rolling, falling, rising, rushing, pounding, dripping, slithering.

                                One drop is tiny, insignificant.

                Yet it is these drops that level stone, drown man and beast, and wear down mountains.

Always moving, completely placid.

                Life-giving, life-taking

Jonathan likes reading, playing with his cat, and walking in Pennypack Park. He enjoys spending time with friends and is in twelfth grade at Northeast High School.


I watch them everyday,
Never being seen nor heard

Like a million invisible flies on a wall

Doing nothing-only watching
Thinking…should I help?
it would save her from all the Hurt

But then,
will they come after ME?

should I tell someone?
just turn the other way


There are many flies out there
Just like me,
What do those flies do?
Do they continue watching…or…help?

Do I want to be a fly

They called her an ugly fat cow today

Taylor Kroll lives in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and is in 10th grade.

Great Grandma Bea

Here I am again,
propped up for the photographer's pleasure.
It's easy to see how photographs make memories.
Will future relations remember me simply as the gaunt, unsmiling soul
peering out to them?
Stripped of my homeland and family just
to come to the land of promise.
I believe my soul reaches out farther than the glass
and gently taps the shoulder of the viewer,
connecting us.
I may be gone when
my great-granddaughter writes a poem to preserve my memory.
I know that I will be proud.

Mia Nadira Carter studied creative writing at last year's Teen Lit Magazine at the Musehouse Literary Arts Center in Germantown. Her poem The Night Sky was published in the Winter issue of Philadelphia Stories, Junior.


Through the air,
Eating away at life,
Creating a silhouette behind you.
So pretty, yet grotesque,
In your wavy frame,
Wild and untamed.
You kill and burn,
You twist and turn,
You bring warmth and pain,
Destruction and comfort,
And this is what the human soul longs for.

I'm twelve years old and in the sixth grade. I enjoy school, especially writing. I'm not quite sure what I want to be when I'm older, but I'm on the fence between some kind of scientist and a writer.

She’s Dead

The books lie behind the phone.
“To Kill a Mocking Bird” and “Murders in the Rue
Morgue” stand out among the titles.
The phone frowns at me accusingly. Judging me in
The ring screams out, making me jump.
“Mr. Ripply? We’ve found your wife,”
says the Police man on the other end of the line.
“She’s dead.”

Marianna Bergues lives in Narberth and is homeschooled. She loves to write fiction. Marianna participated in the Teen Lit Magazine workshop last year at Musehouse Center for the Literary Arts in Germantown. Two of Marianna's poems were published in the premier issue of Philadelphia Stories, Junior.


For two minutes and forty four seconds,
I watch the night, in its luminescence.
Heavy clouds twist, like so many dark ribbons,
Dark velvet punctured only by stars, clouds overridden.

Pudgy cats yowl in alleyways deserted,
Shadows confuse them, their pouncing thus thwarted.
A beer bottle crashes, from nowhere, it seems.
The echo dies out like a soft, faded dream.

I wish it was warmer, or that the wind held better.
The breeze whistled through my threadbare yarn sweater.
Shadows were approaching, completely unencumbered,

Calamity Rose Jung-Allen is a twelve-year-old singer, guitar-player, writer and actor from West Philly, the city of brotherly love and grafitti. She lives with her mom, her two cats, dog, and two rats. Recently declared a brace-face, she is short and loves peanut butter ice cream. She is one of the winners of the first “Teens Take the Park” writing contest.

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